Raw Redux (May 7th, 2012): Layla Scores Another Victory, But Don’t Blink or You Might Miss It

Greetings everybody, and welcome to a delightful… okay, I won’t even lie to you. Just welcome to the Raw Redux. This week, your Khaleesi is out on a top secret mission, so I’m here to take over. I’m sure some of you groaned at this sentence and immediately X’d out, but for those of you still reading, I thank you. This week on Raw we had yet another match lasting under a minute, but it involved Maxine and Natalya so does that constitute gaining our forgiveness? Hmm… Anyways, the two aforementioned Divas teamed up to take on Kelly Kelly and Divas Champ, Layla. It’s one big Extreme Expose reunion! You know what that means… as soon as one of the loyal readers puts on some Timbaland circa 2007 music, a few select members of the Diva Dirt staff will perform the trademarked Kelly backflip (me), Layla split (Khaleesi Cryssi), and Brooke booty shake (leaving that one to Steven)!

In other Raw action, we also had some side appearances from Eve, Naomi, Cameron, and even former Divas Champion, Beth Phoenix, who brought to attention the fact that she will be facing Layla at Over the Limit for the Divas Championship. However, we’re not here to discuss Over the Limit just yet as that’s still a few weeks away, so I’ll go ahead and shut up so we can get down to bidness.

Sigh… we head to the ring and see the gracious Natalya and Maxine already standing inside. I’m sure it was their own decision to sacrifice their entrance so that the match can be thirty seconds long instead of fifteen. How thoughtful! Nevertheless, I’m thrilled to see Maxine actually compete on Raw for the first time. We head to commentary and see Beth Phoenix join Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler, but she’s not here to discuss the ankle injury from a few weeks ago. She has only one thing on her mind aside from what I assume is a Lucky Cupcake red hairpiece, and that’s the Divas Championship.

HOLLA (x3) fills our ears and out comes Kelly Kelly looking sensational in the greatest color known to man, green! Up next comes her tag partner for tonight, our Divas Champion, Layla! The two beauties step inside the ring as we get a nice recap of Layla’s post-Extreme Rules interview describing her journey back to competition. The bell sounds as Maxine goes for a clothesline that Layla ducks. The Divas Champ fires off a few of her own, before hitting a nice spin kick for a two count. Kelly then reaches the level of intensity that I love to see as she runs over and snatches Natalya off the ring apron like a senior citizen finding a bargain deal on Black Friday at their local Target establishment!

Back inside the ring, Maxine scores with a hair pull on Layla, but before she can continue her advantage, Layla runs off the ropes with a bridge pin for a near fall. She proceeds to grab Maxine by the head and focus her sights on Beth before hitting the Lay Out for the victory! Following the win, Layla and Beth stare each other down with Beth providing some brief commentary, telling Layla to enjoy holding the Divas Title while she can since it’s coming back to her at Over the Limit.

Backstage, we spot John Laurinaitis walking and texting like we’re all told to not do. Suddenly he bumps into the Big Show and tries to scream at him, but it comes off more as a bad Rocky impersonation. Big Show then proceeds to impersonate Johnny Ace… until he turns right around into Evil Eve and her Glasses of Brilliance! Like the intimidating person she is, Big Show quickly sees she can outmatch him and heads off. Fortunately for Eve fans like myself, this is not the last we see of our brainy beauty tonight.

Following Big Show’s match with Cody Rhodes in which Cody leaves the arena to head backstage (I did not catch Raw in full last night so I’ve got no idea what happened), The Big Show demands Cody come back out. Luckily for us, we are enlightened to then hear the national anthem of Divas…

“SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE LOOKS GOOD TO ME!”

With that, Eve sways her hips as she walks down the ramp looking tremendous with her nice big pair of… glasses! Those spectacles are the highlight of Raw every week. Miss Torres enters the ring with a microphone in hand, as she proceeds to enrich the Big Show with her eloquent, classy voice (following a Hoeski chant, of course). Miss Torres demands him to apologize for parodying John Laurinaitis’ voice, but The Big Show seems to laugh it off. Like the authority figure she is, Miss Torres does NOT take no for an answer and proceeds to get demanding towards The Big Show. She then adds that she wants him to apologize not only to Johnny, but to her and these people as well for his actions. The Big Show shrugs it off with a simple “I’m sorry”, but that’s not good enough for classy perfection like Eve. She takes it upon herself to call The Big Show a seven foot, four hundred forty one pound, forty year old freak! Holy Moses, if I didn’t already admire Miss Torres, she’d be receiving a gift basket and thank you letter from me. With that, she once again demands him to apologize for his actions earlier, and as he sees what a threat she is to him, he does as told. He then leaves the ring as we are left with a beautiful image of Miss Torres standing tall and proud with her actions, much like I am as well!

Also check out Naomi and Cameron as they dance Brodus to the ring for his match against The Miz, and even provide a brilliant moment of laughter at Miz’s failure:

Thoughts: Uhhhh, well, not really many thoughts to be said this week. We say it every week, but it’s frustrating that the female matches have to consistently be under a minute. Can they really not shave two minutes off one of thirty Triple H recaps and give it to them? Is it that hard? Apparently it is since nothing is done. I kind of knew Beth Phoenix would have to return soon as the only heels they had that were actually wrestling weekly were Natalya and Maxine so it came as no surprise to me to see her back so quickly. The match wasn’t really even a match as much as it was about five moves, but Layla and Maxine did solid work with what they were given.

One thing I want to speak about is Maxine. For months I’ve been saying how I’m undecided on whether I want her to be taken to Raw or SmackDown and away from NXT because I obviously know she wouldn’t get the same attention she does on the show with the golden ropes, but good god, this week has completely swayed my opinion and I am all for Maxine staying put on NXT. This was pretty much what I feared would happen to her if she was put on the main show, and while I’m sure SmackDown would treat her a tad better than Raw ever would, I definitely do not want her to be moved anytime soon and turned into generic heel number five who gets no entrance and spends twenty seconds in a ring each week.

I’m also worried for Layla’s title reign. I was thrilled when she returned to take the belt because she has been through hell over the past year trying to recover and get back to ring shape, and not only that, but she’s done a great job stepping up her wrestling ability when she was away too. What I’m worried about though is that she’s going to have happen to her the same thing that happened to Natalya in her reign. Every week Natalya was champion all she ever seemed to do was win match after match with the Sharpshooter and never get any type of fun feud (sans the weird, brief Melina one). Granted, Kelly Kelly had this happen to her too, but she at least had an actual feud or two along the way. Layla has legit nobody that can challenge her aside from Beth. She’s already pinned Natalya and now Maxine, which leaves Rosa, Aksana, and Eve as the only other heels and none of them are currently competing. I’ve got no idea where her reign is heading, but I really hope she gets to have an actual feud and not just drop the title out of nowhere like Natalya unfortunately did.

In other Raw thoughts, Eve continues to shine in this role and I think it’s time Naomi and Cameron start wrestling. I’ve been one of the biggest Planet Funk supporters, but honestly, Hornswoggle killed them for me. Not only that, but so did Brodus’ countless random matches against Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler that did nothing for anybody involved. Thankfully both of them seem to be over now. (I swear if Chicago’s booing of him is what got them to drop the Hornswoggle mess, I’ll send every crowd member flowers.) I’m not saying that I’m completely over the group, but I’m definitely ready for Cameron and Naomi to develop into in ring competition. Granted, I know there are about twenty faces to two heels, but I’m sure Tamina will probably walk out one night with a scowl and suddenly become a heel so there’s that to look forward to.

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